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latest news Girl dies after ATV hit-and-run accident kills friend

An 11-year-old girl was declared brain dead and taken off life support on Wednesday, four days after an all-terrain vehicle hit her and killed her best friend near Apple Valley.

Christina “Tina” Bird was pronounced dead at 8:50 a.m. at Loma Linda University Medical Center, family member Ernie Nunez confirmed. His death follows that of 12-year-old Jacob Martinez, who was killed in Saturday’s crash.

Tina and Jacob were celebrating the Fourth of July weekend with their families at a campsite in the Inland Empire. The children were riding a small ATV around 9 p.m. Saturday when they were hit on Stoddard Wells Road by a larger Polaris off-road vehicle, authorities said. The vehicle fled after the accident.

A passerby found the children in the Stoddard Valley off-road vehicle area, the California Highway Patrol said in a news release. The 53,000 acre recreation area is managed by the US Bureau of Land Management.

Jacob was pronounced dead at the scene. Tina was found with several broken bones and a severed spinal cord and was taken to an area hospital by paramedics before being airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center for further treatment, it was announced. authorities.

On Tuesday, before her daughter’s death, Tina’s mother called on the public for help in locating the off-roader responsible for the fatal hit-and-run accident.

“My daughter was 11 years old. She was loved by a lot of people,” Felicia Nunez said.

The CHP is investigating the collision and, based on the wreckage at the scene, believe the suspect’s vehicle is a bright orange 2021 RZR Turbo S or Turbo S4.

Investigators said the children drove a Tao Tao ATV northeast on Stoddard Wells Road as an orange side-by-side UTV traveled east on Stoddard Wells Road, east of Central Road. The side-by-side rammed the children’s vehicle, the CHP said. Side-by-side off-road vehicles are characterized as utility vehicles equipped with bucket or bench seats and a steering wheel.

At a press conference outside the hospital asking for the public’s help, Jacob’s aunt demanded that the culprit be brought to justice.

“My nephew was mutilated. He was trampled to death,” Daisy Montano said. “And that person just left.

“We were just trying to be with our families,” she said. “It was right in front of our campsite. We had no control over what was going to happen.

On a GoFundMe page for Tina hosted by Ernie and Felicia Nunez, the organizers said, “Tina grew her pair of wings to join her grandmother and grandfather in paradise, where she is pain free.”

Anyone with information regarding the fatal crash is asked to call CHP Officer Cesar Ramos in the Victorville office at (760) 241-1186.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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